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Old 07-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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Cool Power of Negative Thinking?

I Wrestled in High School.

In my own mind, the fate of the universe hinged on the result of my every match.

I'd read all the "Positive Thinking" books.

I tried to Psyche myself into the place where "Failure" wasn't even a concept.

Have you ever read Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Compensation"?

He says that you can't say that you don't like the Left Hand Side of your Stick and undertake to cut off all that is "Left".

Every time you halve the branch, there is always a "Left Half".

To have "Right" you must have "Left".

Well, I had never read Emerson back then. I tried real hard to only have "Victory" in my mind with no thought of "Defeat".

I lost as often as not. I blamed myself for not getting into that Transcendental frame of mind where Defeat isn't possible.

The best Wrestler that I ever saw Wrestled on my team—and I've seen some very good Wrestlers.

He never went anywhere near as far as he could have...

But he was prickly at any time, but before a match he'd lash out at anyone who came close to him like an ill-mannered cur.

He'd be rapping to himself how the other Dude was Bigger, Stronger and More Skilled than he and that he didn't stand a prayer of beating him.

His pronouncements fillied me with Raw Horror.

I felt that to admit that there was a .0000001% Chance that one might lose was to 100% Assure that you had no chance to Win.

Without "The Power of Positive Thinking" the whole project was absolutely hopeless.

Still, he racked up a much better Won-Lost Record than me.

And lets face it, in many ways it is far more Phun and rewarding to be Negative and Cynical...

Kinda like TVs "Doctor House".

Has anyone here made "Negative Thinking" work for you? Know anyone who does?


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Old 07-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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That's a very interesting post.

I sometimes wonder how that relentless positivity can be maintained in the face of inevitable reality. Take a 100m sprint, for example. If every competitor is in the mindset of 'not admitting the possibility of failure', and so on, then seven out of eight runners will turn out to be mistaken. And then what? Do they enter the next race with the same feeling of invincibility? And if so, do they have to forget their previous failure?

I think there comes a point where saying, 'I can succeed at this no matter what...' becomes simply delusional.

Our culture bombards us with stories of the indomitableness - if that's a word - of the human spirit. 'The doctors said I would never walk again...and I didn't!!' simply doesn't cut it dramatically, nor is it newsworthy. And yet statistically, it's more representative of reality.

I guess I could be called cynical inasmuch as I think the belief thata positive attitude can accomplish anything is largely a romantic and comforting fable.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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I think of this more along the lines of the way Kirk Karwoski summed it up. He believed that all he had to do was not screw up for 20 seconds and he would make the lift.

That is being positive, but it also acknowledges that failure is possible. However, then blame for the failure was because of form or fate, not his mental or physical strength.

To take the sprinter example, 7 out of 8 of those guys will likely point out flaws in their race rather than their belief that "failure is not an option" is invalid.

For me personally, it helps me to have noting but positive thoughts and visions of making a successful lift before every heavy lift. If I doubt before lifting it, I miss it more often than make it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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My source of positivity comes from enjoyment of the journey. Learning how to train my body and my mind to perform when needed at will. That creates a lot of confidence for me.

I don't think about winning, but I do think about what it takes to prepare myself for the perfect effort. That is what I can control, and that is success to me.

Over the years this ability has continued to refine. At some point my body will start to let my mind down. We can't stop the age train. Even so, I will still have my ability to prepare for battle. I will just need to use it for another hobby.

I don't think about positivity. I think about enjoyment and refinement and it gives me confidence that I will do the best I can.

On the other hand I avoid negativity. I don't want doubt in my mind with heavy weight in my hand or above my head. I have to focus on form; the thing I can control. The weight might come up, it might not, but I can control my form to a degree.

I guess in the absence of dark, it seems brighter. So in a sense, if I am filtering out negativity and utilizing practices that lend themselves to positive outcomes, I am creating inherent positivity without thinking about it.

Or something like that. I really don't know, or care to be honest. Just glad to be sucking in air.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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I guess in the absence of dark, it seems brighter. So in a sense, if I filtering out negativity and utilizing practices that lend themselves to positive outcomes, I am creating inherent positivity without thinking about it.

Or something like that. I really don't know, or care to be honest. Just glad to be sucking in air.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
My source of positivity comes from enjoyment of the journey. Learning how to train my body and my mind to perform when needed at will. That creates a lot of confidence for me.

I don't think about winning, but I do think about what it takes to prepare myself for the perfect effort. That is what I can control, and that is success to me.

Over the years this ability has continue to refine. At some point my body will start to let my mind down. We can't stop the age train. Even so, I will still have my ability to prepare for battle. I will just need to use it for another hobby.

I don't think about positivity. I think about enjoyment and refinement and it gives me confidence that I will do the best I can.
I like that. There's a lot of wisdom in there.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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1strength: I couldn't agree more. I hate all that macho I'll-show-them nonsense too.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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1strength: I couldn't agree more. I hate all that macho I'll-show-them nonsense too.
YES.... it's about AGGRESSION not about anger. You do need aggression to do a 500 pound deadlift (or atleast I do) but I do not need blind rage or little voices reminding me about the negative experiences in my life and what not.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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My source of positivity comes from enjoyment of the journey. Learning how to train my body and my mind to perform when needed at will. That creates a lot of confidence for me.
Yes. I feel the SAME way! The journey and the process is what is key.

Quote:
I don't think about winning, but I do think about what it takes to prepare myself for the perfect effort. That is what I can control, and that is success to me.
Yes I do that visualization thing as well where I focus on what I can do better. Eric's taught me how to take a workout that's gone bad and then sit and just go over a list of thing I could have done better and then just focus on that list for the next workout.

Quote:
I don't think about positivity. I think about enjoyment and refinement and it gives me confidence that I will do the best I can.

On the other hand I avoid negativity. I don't want doubt in my mind with heavy weight in my hand or above my head. I have to focus on form; the thing I can control. The weight might come up, it might not, but I can control my form to a degree.

I guess in the absence of dark, it seems brighter. So in a sense, if I filtering out negativity and utilizing practices that lend themselves to positive outcomes, I am creating inherent positivity without thinking about it.

Or something like that. I really don't know, or care to be honest. Just glad to be sucking in air.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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You know, when you have articles about strength training talking about taking your anger and rage out at the weights and being full of piss hot steam against all the people in the world standing against you - when articles like these are published it is NO wonder that regular people look at us strength enthusiasts as if we're crazy.

I think all of us - and I'm going to put this from the perspective of boys but I know plenty of girls who have experienced similar situations with their partners: you date a girl who has asserted that she will be sweet to the whole world but whenever she's in a relationship she's going to treat her partner like shit if she's having a bad day. Yeah, you are supposed to high-tailed it out of there pronto but this is exactly what these fitness articles are talking about when it comes to training mentality.

Most of us train for fun: because we're enthusiasts. Why would you bring negative reinforcement and a plethora of bad feelings with you to the gym and take it out on inanimate objects is beyond me. Nobody's holding a fucking gun to your head forcing you to train.

And the thing is: even if you do this and you are successful at it (and no, a bunch of young beginners who haven't worked their butts off to get to their genetic potential do NOT count) even if you are successful at it why would you wear it on your sleeve and brandy it about like some trophy? It is not something to be proud about.

When we're at work - whether we're running a business or working for someone, do you ever see decision makers do their job successfully when all they have going on in their minds is the collective voices of all the people who've told them that they'd never make it?

In school, we're taught to think clearly; to approach situations in a certain mature way. So why is it okay to think that you can do something you LOVE doing with pure hatred running through your heart and mind?

The cold truth is: you aren't beating all the naysayers in your life by pressing 400 pounds off your chest.

I really wish there weren't so many nasty pro-hate articles about training and lifting weights. You don't have to make weight training a hobby with rainbow colors and unicorns dancing around, but it definitely isn't some dungeon where you're strung up to a torture board ready to be punished or ready to inflict punishment on others.

This is EXACTLY why regular people and normal people look at bodybuilders, powerlifters, martial artists, etc - all of us people who set foot in the gym and embrace our passion for lifting: this is why people look at us like we're a bunch of freaks.
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